LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World Resort guests are invited to join the fun when the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival turns 22 from Aug. 31-Nov. 13, 2017. On Oct. 1, Epcot will celebrate its 35th anniversary, and this year’s festival will feature, for the first time, 35 global dine-around marketplaces. Guests will discover delicious ethnic and specialty cuisine, refreshing new beverages and more concerts and musical acts than ever.
The record 75-day festival at Disney’s Epcot theme park will include five new Future World marketplaces featuring fresh culinary concepts to pair with select wines, beers, cocktails and other beverages. ABC’s Emmy Award-winning lifestyle series, “The Chew,” will broadcast from the festival for the third year and will again showcase dishes inspired by “The Chew” show hosts. The festival is believed to be the largest food and wine event of its kind in the world.
Here are some fun facts about the 22nd festival celebration.
- Now 75 days long, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival began in 1996 with a first run of 30 days
- At the 2017 festival, 35 global marketplaces will include five new marketplaces to help celebrate 35 years of Epcot –they include Active Eats, Coastal Eats, Flavors from Fire and Light Lab, all expanding into the park’s Future World area. The Almond Orchard, hosted by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, is the fifth new marketplace located along the World Showcase promenade
- Producers of ABC’s “The Chew” will tape 5 episodes of the show before 5 festival guest audiences numbering in the hundreds for each show Oct. 4-6 against a backdrop of the park’s iconic Spaceship Earth
- The 22nd festival will feature 39 new marketplace dishes and 65 new cocktails, beers, wines and ciders
- This year, more than 50 domestic and international wines will be offered at global marketplaces
- More than 50 wineries and more than 35 breweries from around the world, including local craft beer operations, will be represented at festival marketplaces
- The new “Disney Food and Wine Festivals Coast to Coast Cookbook” by Pam Brandon and the Disney Chefs features 50 irresistible recipes, 26 recipes from the Epcot festival global marketplaces and 24 from Disney’s California Adventure
- 5 Party for the Senses grand tastings will take place at World Showplace during the festival run. In all, the festival will feature 177 premium events ranging from Signature Dinners and Food & Wine Pairings to “What’s Cookin’ With” and additional festival events in World Showcase pavilions and Walt Disney World resorts
- Guest chefs and Disney chefs numbering 197 will present culinary demonstrations and will cook for festival events
- Celebrity chefs and visiting culinarians from 11 countries and 23 U.S. states will participate in the festival at culinary demos, book signings, and special tasting events and dinners
- 379 culinary demos, beverage and interactive seminars will take place during the 75-day festival. That’s equal to more than 6,360 hours of scheduled seminars at the Festival Center. These include the fun-filled Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It! interactive events, plus more
- During Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak festival scavenger hunt, guests can help Remy scour the park for the ingredients to make his signature dish, ratatouille. Along the way, they’ll find 15 Remy statuettes hidden throughout World Showcase and the global marketplaces. Guests can purchase their map and stickers at select merchandise locations, then take their completed maps to Disney Traders at the entrance to World Showcase or World Traveler at International Gateway to choose a new surprise, compliments of Chef Remy
- 225 Eat to the Beat concerts will be performed;11 musical acts will appear for the first time at this year’s festival featuring entertainment ranging from rock and soul to funk and blues
- The Festival Passport (previously called the Marketplace Discovery Passport) was introduced in 2010 for the 15th annual festival; today, the complimentary passport will feature pages with all 35 festival marketplaces and other outdoor food and beverage locations with special festival offerings such as Refreshment Cool Post, Fife & Drum Tavern and Refreshment Port
- More than 1,200 fireworks will explode each night over World Showcase Lagoon in IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth nightime spectacular
- 100,000-plus desserts, including Passion Fruit Cheesecake with Toasted Macadamia Nuts (new at Hawaii) and Sweet Olive Oil Cake with Powdered Sugar and Lemon Curd (new at Spain), are expected to be served
- In 1997, during the festival’s second year, festival planners introduced the first Grand Tasting culinary extravaganza; in 2002, the event was renamed and moved to World Showplace as Party for the Senses, now featuring dozens of food and beverage stations and, in 2017, confirmed seating for all guests plus new and different themed entertainment and surprises for each event